Stress Can Worsen the Effects of Untreated Bruxism
Posted on 6/7/2021 by Dr. Frank K. Sioda
|Bruxism normally results from stress. The condition is defined by clenching and grinding of the teeth. If the stress is not addressed or the bruxism goes untreated, it can lead to serious dental problems, including erosion, tooth mobility, jaw pain, and recurring headaches.
Learning More About Bruxism
Bruxism is a condition where the patient clenches and grinds their teeth, usually without realizing it. Often, the activity takes place at night when a patient is asleep. This is known as night bruxism. It may also occur during the day, although less frequently. If a patient suffers from night bruxism, he or she may not know it until a partner tells them or they visit us and are diagnosed with the condition.
Treating the Underlying Cause
Stress often leads to problems with grinding and clenching of the teeth. Therefore, when the condition is diagnosed, we need to focus on treating the condition as well as the underlying cause. Often, if night bruxism is a problem, we can make a mouth guard that will keep a patient from grinding and clenching their teeth at night. We may also suggest a patient wear a guard during the day to protect their bite. Some patients will work at reducing their level of stress by undergoing treatment, such as CBT, or cognitive behavioral therapy. This type of therapy helps a patient recognize their reactions to stress before they get out of hand. Some patients may practice a relaxing exercise, such as yoga, while others may take time to meditate during the day.
Reducing the Use of Caffeine and Treating the Condition Further
To treat bruxism or to make it less pronounced, we may also suggest that a patient drink less beverages with caffeine, which can make them feel nervous and irritable. We will also take care of any damage that has occurred as the result of bruxism, including chips, cracks, tooth wear, and decay. To support our efforts, we will insist that the patient address any problems with stress and, again, wear a protective device, such as a mouth guard.
Do you believe you have bruxism? Do you have unexplained problems with erosion or similar dental complaints? If so, contact us immediately for an appointment for an exam and consultation.